If a hazardous chemical emergency occurs in your neighborhood, the most important thing to remember is to take action quickly – go inside and stay put. This procedure is called Shelter in Place. You can use your entire house or only a few rooms. Make sure you choose an area that has a telephone, water, a toilet, and can be sealed off easily. A bedroom is an excellent choice.

What to do when ordered to shelter in place

  • Bring your family and pets inside
  • Turn off heaters and air conditioners and close fireplace dampers
  • Close and seal all doors and windows. Use plastic sheeting that’s 2-4mm thick and duct tape.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth if necessary
  • Listen to your radio or TV, and monitor online news sources or social media
  • Wait for the all clear signal before you move outside

Be aware and prepare

Create an emergency plan just like you would for a fire, tornado or any other kind of emergency. Include the steps you will take to protect yourself and your family. Make a checklist of what needs to be done. Assign tasks so that each person in the family has a job they are responsible for performing.

Add to the emergency kit you may already have for power outages. Inside, keep an updated emergency phone list that includes the phone numbers for a doctor, the closest emergency room, fire and police. Also note the local TV channels and radio stations with frequent news broadcasts.

Make sure your emergency kit includes the following:

  • Two rolls of duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Towels
  • Drinking water
  • Toilet supplies and any necessary medications
  • A portable, battery operated radio
  • A flashlight
  • Extra batteries and once again,
  • Your checklist

Store your emergency kit in a place you can get to quickly and easily. Then rehearse by having emergency drills.